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England are one of the favourites to win the World Cup and you have to respect that.

England have already won a shootout in Russian Federation, against Colombia in the last 16. It just says: 'Winners'.

Neither team came to Russian Federation being heralded as favourites but they have produced performances throughout the competition which have shown they were underestimated by the pundits. Henderson has attempted more passes per game than any other English midfielder at the World Cup, with an average of 59.3.

Their one defeat came against Belgium in their final group game, in a match between two essentially reserve sides.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has only one real injury concern heading into Wednesday's World Cup semi-final in Russian Federation.

While Croatia possess arguably the best central midfield pairing in the tournament in the shape of Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic, Southgate's language does not indicate he is about to bring in Eric Dier as an additional defensive midfielder alongside Jordan Henderson.

The captain was the man of the match again in the penalty shootout win over Russian Federation in Sochi at the weekend.

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Croatia have to be a like a boxer, coming out swinging, they have to hit the front.

"There is still a lot to play".

This will be England's first meeting with Croatia at a major tournament since the Euro 2004 group stage, when the Three Lions triumphed 4-2.

After a weekend of dramatic quarterfinal action that saw each game decided in a completely different manner, the 2018 World Cup is down to its final four. "All the way through we have been one of the youngest teams in the tournament, the least experienced team, but we were never quite sure how far this team could go", said Southgate. But there is less pressure on them now. I find it impossible how Croatia can play back-to-back extra time and penalties, and then come again.

Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic soldiered on against Russian Federation despite hurting a hamstring, while right-back Sime Vrsaljko is expected to miss the game. - Eight of England's 11 goals at the 2018 World Cup have been scored via set pieces - since 1966, the only team to equal that number in a single World Cup tournament are Portugal in 1966 (also eight goals).

Southgate's plan has worked so far, so much so that an influx of England fans is anticipated in Moscow on Wednesday - many of them have bought into "Waistcoat Wednesday" in tribute to Southgate's World Cup outfit. "We have dealt with hard situations in games". "The enthusiasm they have for these players, not only because of the way they've played but how they've conducted themselves, we can feel the energy and support from home, and that's a privilege for us".


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